The new ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ stores in Northampton, Corby, Kettering and Weston Favell have officially opened their doors, with local MP Michael Ellis and Macular Society Regional Manager Colin Daniels, helping to encourage the community to have regular eye tests.
The new Vision Express stores are home to sophisticated sight screening equipment that will deliver a thorough eye health service to local residents, as figures indicate a worrying outlook for vision in Northampton:
- Over 1,700 people are suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD); 5.6% of the local population.
- Over 6,300 people (10.9%) have a heightened risk of developing AMD, due to drusen, yellow deposits under the retina.
- There are almost 6,450 residents (5.6%) living with suspected glaucoma, the silent thief of sight.
MP for Northampton North, Michael Ellis performed a ribbon cutting at the Weston Favell store. He said: “Eye health is a growing issue and I would encourage everyone to have regular eye tests and take their vision seriously. I’m proud to support this event and raise awareness amongst my constituents, especially those who drive, with research revealing there are almost 3,000 road casualties a year caused by poor driver sight.”
Michael Ellis MP with Vision Express Weston Favell team L-R: optical assistants Izabela Minculescu and Jensen Relente, Macular Society regional manager Colin Daniels, Michael Ellis MP, store manager Zeinab Shakir, optical assistant Caroline Lloyd, Tesco team leader Matt Spire, optometrist Piyas Tanna and optical assistant Graham Jones.
Colin Daniels was aged 11 when he was diagnosed with a rare sightstealing condition called Stargardt macular dystrophy. It drastically reduces central and detailed vision and has left Colin with limited colour perception and unable to see things clearly in his central line of sight. Working for the Macular Society, which is a Vision Express charity partner, Colin now dedicates his time to supporting others living with vision impairment throughout central and eastern England.
“I wholeheartedly support initiatives encouraging people to have regular eye tests,” Colin said. “If there is a problem, the earlier you can get it treated, the best chance you have to retain useful sight. With the equipment opticians have today, such as here in the Northamptonshire Vision Express stores, they can detect conditions in their early stages. That’s particularly true of AMD. My advice to the public is to go to your optician and remain consistent, so you build a relationship with your optometrist and they are aware of your full visual history. That makes it more likely that they’ll easily pick up any changes in your sight that could indicate an issue.”
Vision Express at Tesco Weston Favell store manager, Zeinab Hazim Shakir said: “It’s fantastic to have our local MP, Michael Ellis and Colin Daniels join the team to officially open our new store and we look forward to welcoming new and existing customers through our doors.
“With the local population at risk of eye-health related conditions including agerelated macular degeneration and glaucoma, we’re here to help residents ensure their vision is the best it can be. We have over 100 ways to test your eyes, to assess how they’re working and help detect serious conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and increased risk of stroke. It’s great that Vision Express is now in such a convenient location for local residents to drop in and get this essential health check.”
The Northamptonshire optical stores are just four of more than 200 ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ outlets launching across the UK in 2018, all showcasing a purple-infused rebrand being introduced across the entire Vision Express chain.
Introducing a refreshed logo and striking purple and green colour décor and featuring bright sofas and wooden flooring the new look stores provide a modern, inviting and vibrant environment to encourage customers to feel at ease.
Vision Express acquired Tesco Opticians at the end of 2017. In preparation for the expected increase in demand for frames prompted by the acquisition, a £1.5 million investment has been made at the company’s Nottingham-based Technical Centre.
The national home of Vision Express’ laboratory, the Technical Centre currently produces more than one million pairs of glasses a year but following the investment, production capacity is expected to double during 2018.
Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson added: “This is a hugely exciting time for the Vision Express family, and we’re delighted to welcome new team members to the company and provide a seamless eye health service to former Tesco optical customers.
“Crucially, we’re pleased to now be able to offer our vision expertise in a convenient location to residents. With 5.6% of the local population living with suspected glaucoma, safeguarding sight through regular eye exams with a trusted optician has never been more important.”
About Vision Express
Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and part of GrandVision, the global leader in optical retail operating in more than 40 countries, spanning over 6,500 stores and online.
With almost 600 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.
With around 6,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:
- Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
- International Glaucoma Association
- Macular Society
- Stroke Association
- Temple Street University Hospital